A Department of Defense unclassified defense computer network was breached by Russian hackers earlier this year, reveals Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The DOD kicked the intruders out within 24 hours of the breach, according to Carter’s remarks at Stanford University. He added, “I still worry about what we don’t know because this was only one attack.”
A Pentagon official told Fox News that the Russian hacking of the DOD was “totally separate” from recent hacks at the White House and State Department earlier this month and in March, respectively.
The DOD revealed the hack along with a new Pentagon cybersecurity strategy, allowing the US Military to use cyberwarfare as an option in military conflicts.
The Defense Department “should be able to use cyber operations to disrupt an adversary’s command and control networks, military-related critical infrastructure and weapons capabilities” according to the 33-page strategy.
Carter says transparency about cybersecurity is one way the department is responding.
“I think it will be useful to us for the world to know that, first of all, we’re going to protect ourselves, we’re going to defend ourselves,” he told reporters traveling with him to California. He added that the new strategy is “more clear and more specific about everything, including (U.S.) offense.”
Fox News says cyberattacks against U.S. government and industry have grown increasingly more severe and sophisticated. The new strategy says, “During heightened tensions or outright hostilities, DOD must be able to provide the president with a wide range of options for managing conflict escalation.”
In addition, the military must have cyber capabilities that can “achieve key security objectives with precision, and to minimize loss of life and destruction of property.”
According to Fox , the announcements come on the heels of President Obama’s decision earlier this month to authorize financial sanctions against malicious overseas hackers or companies that use cyberespionage to steal U.S. trade secrets. Those companies could include state-owned corporations in Russia, China or other countries that have long been named as cyber-adversaries.